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Week of August 2

18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 2
Glenna Smith, OSB, Benedictine Sisters of Virgina, Bristow, VA

Matthew 14:13-21
Jesus didn’t have even a moment to grieve the loss of his cousin; however:

This Gospel always puts me in mind of a scripture class I had during my days of formation. It provided me time to open my eyes and see a bit differently. I had only ever thought of the mystery of the loaves and the fishes as another example of God’s intervening at Jesus’ request, creating more loaves and fish, to show the power and relationship of Jesus and God, the Creator.

Paul Trudinger, our professor, suggested the miracle could have happened differently; nonetheless a miracle, but with simple, profound changes in human behavior. What if, Paul, said, what if others had brought food, too. What if the generosity, the selflessness of the boy’s offering his loaves and fished was observed and touched other hearts. What if one person, after another after another, shared what they brought. What if, after selfishness yielded, everyone shared and there was not only enough but an abundance.

This Gospel story makes me wish Jesus had had a moment to grieve, but the question that stays with me year after year is, “what if…”

Sister Glenna Smith entered the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia in 1977 and has served her community and their ministries for 40+ years as teacher, prefect, camp director, counselor, principal and administrator, school psychologist, member of various boards, formation director, monastery coordinator, and subprioress. She was privileged to serve the Federation of Saint Scholastica as president from 2010-2014.